One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,928 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             


Crotchet   AmazonUK   AmazonUS

Emil von SAUER (1862-1942)
Suite moderne (1899-1906?) [34’16]. Aus lichten Tagen (date unknown) [11’26]. Drei Konzertetüden (1910) [9’35]
Oleg Marshev (piano)
Rec. Mantzius-Garden, Birkerod, Denmark, February 2003. DDD

Oleg Marshev seems born to play music of this ilk. Emil von Sauer comes in at the end of the great Romantic composer-pianist tradition (he was a pupil of Liszt) – collectors may also wish to investigate Hyperion’s ‘The Romantic Piano Concerto, Volume 11’, which couples Sauer’s First Concerto with Scharwenka’s Fourth (Stephen Hough is accompanied by the CBSO under Lawrence Foster, CDA66790). Sauer himself left a fair number of 78rpm discs to posterity.

Danacord here present two first recordings – the Suite and the Galop de concert. Suite moderne, dedicated to Sgambati, is fairly typical Romantic fare, the initial ‘Prélude passioné’ exemplifying this perfectly, gestural in its essence (although a cynic may refer to clichés …). The only reservation comes with the recorded sound, which seems a little lacking in depth, a suspicion confirmed in the ensuing ‘Air lugubre’. Marshev’s evident belief in his charge sees the music through though, dragging one in after a while (at 9’57 duration it could so easily seem over-languorous). The third movement ‘Scherzo grotesque’ does not begin as such, rather easing into its malevolent cheekiness (and how Marshev seems to enjoy this!).

In his notes, Farhan Malik refers to the fourth movement Gavotte as ‘somewhat reminiscent of Glazunov’, although the connection does not seem overly pronounced to this reviewer. The finale is the most clearly Schumannesque movement.

Aus lichten Tagen is subtitled ‘Five Miniatures’. This is straight out of the salon. Marshev plays when appropriate in a light, throwaway style, yet displays superb tonal variety in the final ‘Capricietto’. His virtuosity is breathtaking in ‘Am Spinnraden’ (‘At the Spinning Wheel’, the fourth movement).

Sauer’s 29 Concert Etudes were recorded by Marshev earlier in this series. The Three Concert Etudes presented here are not in fact intended as a supplement to this - rather their character is truer to the essence of the ‘etude’. Marshev does his best to shape the first (a cripplingly difficult study in thirds). Similarly, his Etude-Caprice (No. 2) is full of laughter, and the final ‘Moto perpetuo in Octaves’ sparkles delightfully.

Finally, the Galop de Concert in E flat minor. This begins almost as a Lisztian parody – it is an effective encore piece, with its contrastive elements and Marshev in teasing mode around 5’38. But the piece is over-long at six and a half minutes.

A thoroughly enjoyable disc. Marshev’s flair and seemingly limitless technique sees the project through in high style.

Colin Clarke


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month


Chopin Bruce Liu

Ingeneri Volume 2

Mondonville - Titon et L'Aurore

Telemann - French Cantatas 1


March 2022

Brahms Symphony 4
MacMillan Larghetto for Orchestra

Bruch Violin Concertos

Debussy Preludes Book 2

Jan-Peter de GRAAFF
Cello Concertos

La Nuit étoilé
Berlioz. Holmes


Return to Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.